How Anger Damages Your Mind, Body, & Spirit And 7 Ways To Manage It
Anger is a primitive feeling that has been around as long as humans have and affects everyone. Although most of the time it’s seen as a negative quality, the truth is, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Sometimes anger can help two people accomplish something they wouldn’t normally do, it can turn your fear into courage, and it can help you defend and stand up for yourself. What IS bad about anger is how you react to your own.
Are you the type of person who’s able to realize that you’re angry, accept that something isn’t going your way, and control the powerful feeling and deal with it positively and productively?
Or are you the type that lets their anger get the best of you and surge out of you in a huge burst of negative energy, harming everything and everyone in its path?
Maybe you’re neither one of these, and instead you tend to stifle and bottle your anger and turn this emotion into feelings of despair, guilt, worry and anxiety that eat away at you day after day.
They do exist though, and as we evolve as a species, more and more people are learning to manage their anger so that it stops hurting them and those around them.
As I’m sure you already know, anger not only affects the person carrying and feeling it, it also hurts their loved ones and the people they’re mad at. That’s why it’s so important that you learn how to control and manage your anger.
Along with learning how to manage your anger externally, you should strive to learn how to manage it spiritually as well. When you experience these powerful feelings of anger, most of the time it lingers inside of your body and doesn’t end with your outburst. It can crush your spirit and keep you from making spiritual progress. Here are some effects unmanaged anger can have on you:
Physical effects– Anger has an incredibly damaging effect on your cardiovascular system. Your chances of heart disease, coronary disease and heart attacks double. The likelihood of you having a stoke due to blood clots or aneurysms in the brain triple. Your immune system is weakened and you are more likely to be sick more often.
It can make you prone to migraines, cause your breathing to become labored due to the toll it takes on your lungs, and it raises your cortisol levels which regulate your stress level and is one of the reasons that the body retains fat.
Mental effects- Unmanaged anger can worsen your anxiety if you’re already prone to worrying. A 2012 study published in a medical journal about Cognitive Behavior Therapy found that anger worsens Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) symptoms.
Being an angry person and carrying anger within you has also been linked to higher cases of depression. The inability to control your anger can also lead to feelings of social withdrawal, unwarranted fear, and can lead to suicide for some.
Spiritual effects– Holding on to anger has negative residual effects on your spirit. It takes up valuable space in your body and being, crowding out the goodness and positivity that should be filling you instead.
This leaves you with feelings of bitterness, resentment, jealousy, hate and spite, among others. It can block your path to spiritual growth and give you bad karma.
For these reasons alone, it’s important that you learn the lifelong skills needed to manage your anger. You will lead a much more fulfilling and productive productive life if your mind, body and spirit connection is in balance.
Here are 7 tips to get you started on your path to anger management:
Sometimes other emotions can feel like anger when they really aren’t, and vice versa. Are you actually angry, or are you just tired, annoyed, or hungry? Is something just getting on your nerves, or is it causing you to shake with fury?
When you notice that you’re starting to feel angry, take a deep breath and try to figure out what it is you’re actually feeling and why the situation is affecting you so strongly.
Could it be that you think you’re angry, but really you’re just nervous about something else in your life and are overreacting about the issue at hand?
Identifying what and how you’re feeling can help you figure out what you need to do to keep the situation from escalating and keep from bursting.
Once you’ve realized why something is making you angry, understand that nothing lasts forever and this too shall pass. In other words, you should try to chill out about it.
When we get angry, our blood starts boiling and it rises up to our faces, hence the reason angry people are called “hot heads”.
It doesn’t have to be that way though. Remind yourself that the situation that’s angering you isn’t going to stick around for the rest of your life and therefore, shouldn’t affect you so intensely. You’re in a much better position to solve the problem at hand if you think about it logically versus blowing up at the first sight of it.
Look at the problem from different perspectives and be open-minded.
Try to see things from other peoples’ point of view and put yourself in their shoes. Most people aren’t trying to purposely make you angry, it’s usually always a misunderstanding that can be cleared up if you make the effort to understand where they’re coming from and their reasoning behind their actions.
Learning how to stand up for yourself and for your hurt feelings by using words that aren’t rude or aggressive is a skill that everyone should have. Try to talk to the offender in a cooperative manner instead of an accusatory manner and start the conversation with how you feel instead of how you think things should be.
Try to avoid starting sentences with phrases such as “you always do this wrong…” or “this is your all fault”, things like that.
When you explain to them exactly why their actions make you feel angry, they’re able to understand your side of it and are more likely to do the right thing going forward.
For example, if your child or partner always takes a long time to get ready and causes you to be late to where you need to be, instead of saying “you’re always taking too long and making me be late!”, you can say something like “I get anxious when I show up late to things and I would really appreciate it if you helped me avoid this anxiety by being ready on time.”
I know that slowing down and fighting the urge to blow up at someone is not an easy thing to do. Sometimes we just can’t think straight and the words come flying out, even causing us to say really hurtful things we don’t even mean.
This gets you nowhere really, and the good news is that the more you practice slowing down and expressing your anger with the right words, the easier it gets and it becomes more natural.
A good way to know the right things to say when angry is to write your thoughts down ahead of time. Write down the angry words first if you need to, then go back and see how you can reword them to be more understanding and productive.
As I mentioned before, feeling angry takes a huge financial toll on your body. If you find yourself tensing your muscles, grinding your teeth, clenching your fists or even wanting to break something, you need to find a way to physically relax. You’re more in control of your emotions when your body is in a relaxed state.
One of the best ways to do this is to utilize the amazing power of meditation. It’s a common belief that meditation means sitting in an uncomfortable position for hours with your eyes closed but this isn’t the true. You can meditate for as little as 2 minutes and still get the benefits. Of course, you can meditate for as long as you’d like but extended periods of time aren’t necessary.
Meditation calms your body and mind and helps you focus on the “here and now” instead of worrying about the past or the fretting about the future. This sweeps away all the extra clutter in your mind, including feelings of anger you may have recently experienced. Making meditation a daily habit will help you gain peace of mind and will lighten your spirit.
Guided imagery, yoga, taking a nice long bath, working out, reading, painting and coloring are also wonderful ways to focus your thoughts and relax your body.
Exercise especially since it releases feel-good endorphins and helps keep your moods more stable. If something is starting to make you feel angry and you have the time, consider strapping on some sneakers and going for a quick run to help defuse your anger.
Dismissing yourself from the situation that is starting to make you angry isn’t a cowardly thing to do. Quite the opposite actually because it takes a lot of strength and power to be able to turn away from a difficult situation and not give in to your impulse to fight or argue.
Avoiding a full-on blow up is a lot like turning the other cheek in that you make a decision that is bigger than yourself or the situation.
Some people are afraid that they’ll be thought of as a wimp or a chicken by the person making them angry if they back off but this isn’t true most of the time.
It can actually make the other person realize that the issue at hand is silly and isn’t worth fighting about, or if it IS a serious issue, it can help them realize that there are other ways to go about solving it that don’t require fighting or being confrontational.
If for whatever reason the other person can’t see things this way and do feel like you’re a wuss and are “giving up” making them the “winner” then it’s best to just let them think this way. They aren’t mature enough for you to be someone you need to “impress” or stand up to.
They can have whatever opinion they want of you and it doesn’t mean anything. Remember, their opinion isn’t your reality. You can walk away from a tense situation and know that you’re the bigger person- that’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Writing down your thoughts is incredibly helpful when you’re starting to feel angry. Journaling gives your rage or fury an outlet to release itself out of your body. Bottling up your anger without expressing it is one of the fastest ways for it to damage your body and mind.
When something is bothering you, pick up a journal and start jotting everything down. Don’t worry about your handwriting or correct sentence structure- just write! Let it all come rushing out onto the paper and you’ll be surprised at how relieved you feel afterwards.
Putting your negative (and positive) emotions into a journal also allows you to look back on them and recognize any patterns that may exist.
Date and timestamp your entries before you begin writing, then look at your entries a few weeks later to see if there are recurring days of the week or times of the day. There could be something triggering your anger at specific times of the day that you’re not even aware of and this will help you discover them.
For example, if you find that you’re most angry in the mornings, it could be that you’re not getting enough quality sleep or you’re being woken up too abruptly, instantly ruining your mood. If you see that your angriest entries are always written right after work, it could mean that your job is stressing you out and causing you to be irate or irritated and it might be time to look for something you’d enjoy more.
Just like people have special playlists for studying or for going on a run, you can also make a playlist for calming you down when you’re starting to get angry or upset. Look for positive and upbeat songs or even majestic classical pieces to lower your heart rate.
Experiment with different music genres and make a note of which ones make you feel the best. Turning to music instead of fixating on whatever is making you mad instantly distracts you from those negative feelings and lets you focus on something else.
Not only that, but listening to music relaxes your body, causes your brain to release dopamine, lowers stress, helps you sleep better, and even keeps your brain healthy in old age.
Although feeling angry is normal and even healthy at times, there are circumstances where it can be unhealthy and problematic. If you find that you’re angry more often than not, this could signal towards an anger problem.
This is especially true if you act out aggressively or are violent when mad.
There’s no shame in seeking help if you have anger issues and you’re definitely not alone. Letting your anger get the best of you and giving into it is only going to cause you to hurt yourself, hurt others around you, and keep you from growing as a person.
It can also ruin your relationships and affect your work. That’s why it’s so important to get help managing your anger issues.
Reach out to a family member, a friend, or get a psychic reading from a reputable online psychic advisor. They can dive deep into your being to see what’s bothering you and causing you to suffer from these anger issues. There’s always a reason for having an anger problem.
It could be due to an unresolved event that happened to you in the past, or it could be your subconscious trying to tell you something. It could even be your body or mind trying to alert you to a deeper issue that you’re unaware of and need to fix.
Whatever it is, a true psychic can help you get to the bottom of it and once it’s resolved, you’ll notice how much nicer your life becomes when you’re not always angry and ready for a fight.